Out of the ‘Cubicle’

Here’s a question I received today:  “Hi, Dan, I’m all set to purchase a small residential cleaning franchise (and finally be able to leave my ‘cubicle’ job), but given the present financial crisis, do you think it’s a good time to start a business?”

Actually, I think it’s a great time to start a business – precisely because of the present turmoil.  Think with me for a moment about where “security” exists.  If you work in a cubicle you probably are in a situation where one person – your one customer – could walk in tomorrow morning and fire you.  Now – if you have a hot dog stand down on a busy intersection in your town, you may have 376 people that stop by each day to buy a dog.  Thus you would have to have 376 people decide to stop using your service to put you out of business.  If one disgruntled customer decided he hated your dogs you would simply have to replace that one out of 376 customers. 

If you are a bookkeeper you may decide that rather than having one customer you are going to find 10 small businesses that are not large enough to justify a full-time bookkeeper but could use you one or two days a month.  Did you just lose the “security” you had in your former cubicle or did you just increase your “security” ten-fold? 

So is it riskier to start a business now or to stay in a corporate position – where managers are shaking in their boots, bottom lines are being ripped apart and every payroll is looked at a liability?

Incidentally, my wife just mentioned that she needs someone to come in and do a thorough cleaning of our house a couple times a month.  And I suspect we have 9 neighbors nearby who have the same desires.  In 8 years of living in this particular house, we have never to my knowledge have someone approach us about residential cleaning.

5 Responses to “Out of the ‘Cubicle’”

  1. Jay Peroni Says:

    To add to Dan’s point here: It is a great time to start a business. You can also buy businesses at a cheaper rate right now. I have two offers out to buy two seperate businesses at a significantly reduced price because the economy is in trouble. There are opportunities everywhere. People are bailing on valuable assets (stock market included).

    Jay Peroni, CFP
    Author of The Faith-Based Millionaire

  2. Cookeville Weather Guy Says:

    Excellent points Dan….one big customer lost can, in the corporate world, could get us ‘canned’…that is no security. Security is getting up everyday and doing something you are passionate about…thank you for motivating me to find that passion and to begin the pursuit.


  3. Jared Matthew Kessler Says:

    I think that is some great advice Dan.

    As someone who is following Dave Ramsey’s plan of living a debt free life, I’ll be back pursuing life as a self taught composer by next April (the latest). Working as a temp I’m welcomed into my little space where I put a sign that says, “Never judge a person by the size of their cubicle,” because I believe EVERYONE underestimates themselves in this kind of environment. I always say, “Quit your job, don’t EVER quit being you.” 🙂

  4. artgirlATL Says:

    Thanks for a fantastic podcast that continues to stir my mind and heart. The possibilities as an artist, illustrator and graphic designer are out there, I just need to create a plan and couple of streams of income. To be with my kids at home but still contributing my 50/50 to our household income.
    Thanks for inspiring us to dream… and go after it!

    We’re DEBT Free!!!!!!!!!! O.K. accept our mortgage.

  5. RICK LOHRE | PHOTOGRAPHY » Blog Archive » Get off your a$$ and stop whining. Says:

    […] Get off your a$$ and do something about your situation. I am a young photographer and I hear this all the time. In fact, I left a great gig at Procter & Gamble, a fortune 500 company. -People ask me all the time if I was “nuts”. NO – I had a vision of what I wanted to do and followed it. -People ask me well what about your security….I respond, you don’t have it at a fortune 500 company either. How many times have you heard about cutbacks/layoffs/etc. What makes you think that you won’t be part of the cutbacks in the rat race that IS “The Office”. (Love that show by the way, more truisms there than I care to comment on) Read more about false senses of security here on Dan Miller’s blog here. […]

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